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Okavango Delta

Chitabe Properties |

Chitabe
8 Meru-Style Tents

Accommodation at Chitabe Camp consists of eight spacious East African style tents that are built on elevated wooden decks, beneath a lush tree canopy. Each tented room has en-suite facilities with flush toilets and a shower and basin with hot and cold running water. Each tent has a nice verandah with superb views of the open savannah in front of the camp. There is also an additional outdoor shower for those who want to shower in the fresh air. A separate thatched dining room, pub, lounge, reading room and pool area are linked by raised walkways. The raised decks offer superb views over the open floodplain in front of the camp. Chitabe also has a splendid pool and sundeck overlooking the plains for reading and relaxing during the afternoon while watching the game. The camp area is surrounded by ancient ebony, leadwood and sausage trees. Complimentary laundry services are provided.
Moremi Game Reserve Area - Okavango Delta, Botswana

Chitabe Camp is situated adjacent to the Moremi Game Reserve on a private concession on an idyllic island in the south-eastern Okavango Delta of Botswana.
Year Round

Botswana is an all-year-round wildlife destination. However, there are certain seasonal concerns of which groups with special interests should take note: The best birding months are November - March, when the delta is brimming with migratory birds. The best botanical months are December - May, when the vegetation is lush and green and most plants are in flower. Botswana’s popularity as a destination is such that seasonal differences are not as marked as in other African destinations. Traditionally, however, peak season is from July to October and middle season is from May to June. Note that availability is at a premium during these seasons so you will need to book well in advance. November to April is a less popular time for travel to Botswana. This is the wet season, and due to the abundance of water, it is less certain that one will see wildlife at perennial water holes. Also, the heavy rains can make dirt roads impassable.

Game Viewing, Day and Night Game Drives & Nature Walks.

Chitabe offers guests game drives in open 4x4 vehicles during the day and at night accompanied by an experienced guide, as well as nature walks. Chitabe is strictly a game viewing camp - no water activities are offered here. Typically guests leave for a game drive in the morning and again in the afternoon, returning usually after dark to take advantage of the many more elusive nocturnal animals often seen here. Game walks with an armed and experienced guide are also a specialty at Chitabe and recommended for those wishing to get the true feeling of being in Wild Africa.

There will be plenty of time for quality game viewing and birding to enjoy the wide variety of wildlife found in the Chitabe area. Wildlife seen here includes Elephant, Buffalo, Lion, Leopard and Cheetah. You should also see Zebra, Reedbuck, Red Lechwe, Impala, and all the plains game. Night drives can be very rewarding, giving rare opportunities to view animals such as Pangolin, Civet Cat, Serval, Porcupine and Aardwolf.
Nights are spent sleeping out at two separate hides located in different parts of the Chitabe Reserve. Both hides accommodate guests on elevated platforms with each person sleeping under a mosquito net and the African sky above. Chemical toilets and hot bucket showers are also provided. Simple, but delicious, home-cooked meals on the open campfire are enjoyed under the stars - truly a wonderful way to end an active day in the bush.

The two hides at Chitabe are located in two very contrasting habitats. One hide is situated on the edge of a floodplain that often contains water and enables one to experience the sights, sounds and smells of the Okavango as you sleep. The second hide is built within a woodland area on the edge of an extensive open savannah plain which has an abundance of elephant activity. At night, the silence, punctuated by the nocturnal sounds - the roaring lions and whooping calls of hyenas - is magical and often provides a memory that is the highlight of guests' entire safari. Most guests spend a third night back at Chitabe Trails camp to end their stay before traveling on to their next destination.
Wild Dog Conservation Fund

Chitabe Camps have aided in the support of the Botswana Wild Dog Research Project, which was established by Dr Tico McNutt in 1989. The Wild Dog Project has a study area of about 3000 square kilometres. About 160 wild dogs in ten to twelve packs inhabit this region, and Chitabe lies within this study area. Dr. McNutt and the wild dogs featured in the May 1999 edition of National Geographic Magazine and the project has also been featured in a BBC Natural World/Afriscreen film which was released in January 2002, entitled A Wild Dog's Story. For more information on the film please go to www.afriscreen.com.

The Botswana Wild Dog Research Project is run by a group of ecologists who have been conducting a long-term study of critically endangered African Wild Dogs in the Okavango Delta of northern Botswana. As perhaps the largest remaining population, this region's Wild Dogs are crucial to understanding social patterns, communication, dispersal and behaviours of this remarkable species. Wild Dogs require large natural areas in which to roam, hunt and raise young. As rural Africa becomes more developed, conflicts with humans will continue to mean declining populations for these predators through livestock conflicts, disease, poaching and road killing.

Megan Parker, a researcher with the Wild Dog Project writes, "Our goal is to help understand and preserve predators in a developing world by working with local people and the international scientific community. We are working on research for conservation and management solutions between Wild Dogs and human conflicts.

Our tented field camp is located at the south-eastern end of the Okavango Delta on the edge of Moremi Reserve, where we have been studying wild dogs and local people's attitudes towards predators since 1989. This area is not only home to a vital population of Wild Dogs, but is one of the most treasured, diverse natural areas for wildlife remaining in southern Africa. We are associated with the University of Montana and our team has graduate students who are pursuing research on communication, behaviour, conflict management and monitoring of predators here.

African wild dogs are highly social, intelligent, cooperative predators that depend upon their pack to hunt and raise pups. Our current research focuses upon how wild dog packs communicate through scent marking. Because they cover such large distances in their territories and need to communicate with neighbouring packs, they rely upon scent marking to leave information for other dogs to find. We are able to closely observe dogs in these habitats and have radio collars on approximately ten packs of dogs across our 25,000 square-km study area.

We hope to understand how wild dogs use scent marks to define boundaries between packs so that we may use these types of marks to manage dogs in areas where there is conflict with livestock, and potential for disease, road-kills, and poaching. If we can keep dogs from ranging into areas where they are at high risk, we can help wild dogs and other predators co-exist with humans in rural Africa.

Our operational funding is spare, as we are supported through zoological foundations, private donations and conservation organizations. We hope you join us in helping these endangered predators continue to exist in an increasingly fragmented environment."
Owners & Hosts

Chitabe is owned by Dave and Hal Hamman, two well-known and respected people in the Okavango Delta who have managed a number of camps in Botswana. In 1996, Dave and Helene were awarded a tender by the Botswana government to build Chitabe and Chitabe Trails camp, which was completed in July 1997. A portion of the accommodation charges from each guest goes towards a wild dog conservation fund which Chitabe has established. Dr.Tico McNutt began the wild dog research project in 1989, with a study area of about 3,000 square kilometres. About 160 wild dogs in ten to twelve packs inhabit this region. Chitabe is part of this study area.

Chitabe (pronounced Chitaabee) is located in a 28,000-hectare photographic reserve built on one of the most beautiful islands in the Okavango Delta, in a private area that is bordered on three sides by the Moremi Game Reserve.
Operated by Wilderness Safaris, Chitabe is located in an area made up of a superb variety of habitats, which include waterways and marshlands, dry acacia and mopane woodland, riverine areas, open grasslands and seasonally flooded plains. The reserve's boundary in the east is the Gomoti Channel and the Santantadibe River in the west. Access into this area is only by aircraft. The camp has been operational since 1997 and has developed an outstanding reputation, especially with specialized zoo groups.

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